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Teenagers ‘Step-Up’ to receive awards
Young people who had previously been struggling with mainstream education have been honoured for their achievements at Romsey Mill's 'Step-Up' graduation night, held at Cambridge University Press.
The 'Step-Up' education programme is Romsey Mill's course for young people (aged 14-16) who are struggling to engage with mainstream school including those who have been, or are at risk of being, excluded. It aims to re-engage and provide vocational courses and qualifications.
The course has been inspired by experience in schools, colleges, and Pupil Referral Units (centres managed by local authorities for people excluded from mainstream school), and has been developed over a number of years.
Courses and awards offered as part of 'Step-Up' focus on enterprise, leadership, personal and team skills, and contribution to the community. They include: Arts Awards, St John's Ambulance Young First Aider Award, Sports Leadership, Cooking and Catering, Music Technology, Lifeguard training, Childcare, and a Diploma for Entry to the Uniformed Services (Fire, Police, Prison Service, RAF, Navy or Army).
For Ashley Hood, 16, attendance at 'Step-Up' has transformed his life. Ashley joined the course in September last year, having been excluded from mainstream schools a number of times, with behaviour he now describes himself as 'appalling'. He has turned things around and through 'Step-Up' and volunteering at Romsey Mill's Children's Centre, he is now on a career path towards becoming a qualified youth worker.
Neil Perry, CEO of Romsey Mill, said: "We are so proud of what these young people have achieved. It speaks volumes of their efforts and their hard work, and the efforts of the community they have around them - especially staff and volunteers from Romsey Mill and Cambridge University Press - who have given their time, money and support to the Step-Up programme and proved to these young people that they are valued and that there are options."
Heidi Mulvey, Head of Community Engagement for Cambridge University Press, said: "As an educational publisher and a major employer, Cambridge University Press is very proud to offer support to this vital education programme and to the young people involved on it. The awards night was a fantastic way of celebrating with their family and friends the result of their hard work, commitment and determination. We are sure they will all continue to pursue their new positive plans for the future."
Cambridge University Press has supported Romsey Mill since 2010, in particular its two education programmes, one of which is 'Step-Up', by offering expertise on projects, staff volunteering hours, services in kind, and donating, with the majority through staff fundraising efforts, £29,000 to Romsey Mill's education programmes so far.
For more information contact Vicky Westmore, Communications Officer at Cambridge University Press on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 326194.
High-res photos are available.
About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Its purpose is to further the University's objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research. Its peer-reviewed publishing lists comprise 45,000 titles covering academic research, professional development, over 300 research journals, school-level education, English language teaching and bible publishing.
Cambridge takes pride in supporting community programmes across the globe. With an ethos that embraces the University's mission to further the cause of learning, and with offices all over the world, Cambridge is well placed to make a difference to the communities in which it works. Its staff are encouraged to offer practical help, advice and funding to nurture vital charitable, educational and voluntary partnerships.
For further information, go to: www.cambridge.org
About Romsey Mill
Romsey Mill is a Cambridge-based charity, started in 1980, that works with children, young people and families, many of whom are facing significant challenges in their lives. Romsey Mill is committed to overcoming disadvantage, challenging injustice and promoting social inclusion.
Romsey Mill began through the Christian Church, but is an all-inclusive organisation, whose focus is firmly on supporting and helping those who need it, regardless of faith or any other aspect of their lives.
For more information about Romsey Mill and the Step-Up programme go to: www.romseymill.org/step-up